President Donald Trump’s party lost big in the midterm elections, his inner circle has been hit hard by the Russia investigation, and now he may have lost one of his biggest backers: Fox News.
This week, some of the network’s most Trump-friendly personalities have started to push back against the president and his policies. That includes Tucker Carlson, one of the biggest Trump supporters in all media and a favorite of Trump himself. In an interview with the Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, Carlson said Trump has failed to keep his “chief promises” to build a wall along the Mexican border and to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“And he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson said. “I’ve come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does.”
Carlson dug a bit deeper with his criticism, saying that Donald Trump may not be capable of getting things done.
“I don’t think he’s capable of sustained focus,” Carlson said. “I don’t think he understands the system. I don’t think the Congress is on his side. I don’t think his own agencies support him.”
The slam from Tucker Carlson came just a day after another one of Trump’s favorite Fox News personalities delivered a dire prediction about the Russia investigation. Andrew Napolitano, a legal analyst for the conservative news network, said he believes that Donald Trump, Jr. will be indicted for lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Several reports have claimed that Trump, Jr. is in the crosshairs for the Mueller investigation, and Vanity Fair reported that he told close friends and family he expects to be indicted as well.
Others on Fox News have taken a more critical stance toward the members of Trump’s inner team caught up in the investigation, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who faces the possibility of decades in prison.
Many political experts have spun the subtle distancing from Fox News as a troubling sign for Donald Trump. Despite his series of controversies in office, Trump has enjoyed reliably favorable coverage from the network, which has helped him to maintain a strong approval rating among his core supporters. Some legal analysts have also predicted that the only way Trump could face impeachment would be if the Russia investigation turns up incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing on his part and if there were the political will among Trump’s supporters. The fact that Fox News may be turning on the president shows that the second part could already be happening, experts say.